BHUBANESWAR: The Centre for Wildlife Health (CWH) of OUAT Bhubaneswar has formed a multi-disciplinary health team to address infertility among certain species of wild animals, especially big cats, and encourage conservation breeding of the endangered species.
The team comprising veterinary doctors of medicine, gynaecology and surgery visited the zoo to check the infertility problem of lioness Radha and others, and off-feed and dullness in pangolins.
Zoo sources said Radha, a lioness brought from Bangalore has given birth to cubs only twice in 2015 and 2017, while her sister Rukmini, brought from the same place, has not been able to reproduce in the last 11 years.
Radha’s daughter Kalpana, born in 2015, has also not been able to conceive in the last six years, though lionesses in captivity usually start breeding after four years of age. Two female Indian wolves and two female wild dogs have also not been able to breed even after three years of age.
The zoo has roped in the expert team to ensure that these felines and canines do not lose their reproductive potential which otherwise may hamper zoo’s conservation breeding of endangered species.
Ultrasonography of reproductive tracts of lioness Radha was carried out by the health team on Wednesday, while samples were collected from pangolins and other animals to address their health issues. Zoo deputy director Sanjeet Kumar said if required they may take help of the health team to conduct hormonal therapy of the felines and canines.
As per the NZP’s research the birth rate among herbivorous species in the zoo has remained much higher compared to carnivorous species. An improved birth rate for felines and canines will help the zoo in its animal exchange programme as well as rewilding.